Cry of the Innocent by Julie Bates Banner

Cry of the Innocent

by Julie Bates

April 11 – May 6, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

April 1774 – Within the colonial capital of Virginia, Faith Clarke awakes in the middle of the night to discover a man savagely murdered in her tavern. Phineas Bullard was no stranger. Faith’s late husband had borrowed heavily from the man and left Faith to struggle to pay the debt.

With unrest growing in the American Colonies, the British are eager for a quick resolution at the end of a noose, regardless of guilt. Under suspicion for the crime, she must use every resource at her disposal to prove her innocence and protect those she loves. Her allies are Olivia and Titus, slaves left to her by her late husband’s family, individuals she must find a way to free, even as she finds they also have motives for murder.

Faith seeks to uncover the dead man’s secrets even as they draw close to home. Determined to find the truth, she continues headlong into a web of secrets that hides Tories, Patriots, and killers, not stopping even though she fears no one will hear the cry of the innocent.

Praise for Cry of the Innocent:

“An absorbing, fast-paced, and contemplative whodunit.”
Kirkus Reviews

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: June 8th 2021
Number of Pages: 258
ISBN: 1953789773 (ISBN-13:978-1953789778)
Series: A Faith Clarke Mystery, #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

I

1774

Muffled pounding jolted Faith awake. A few coals glowed from the fire but offered little illumination to the pitch-blackness surrounding the bed. Nearby her son, Andrew slept soundly in a trundle bed undisturbed by the excited barks of dogs outside in the streets of Williamsburg. Her heart jumped as she looked over to the door separating her bedroom from the main hall of the tavern and saw light coming in from the cracks between the door and its frame. A voice hissed outside.

“Mistress, you need to wake up.”

Olivia’s voice held the rich cadence of someone who had been born far from the English colonies. Faith suspected she had come from somewhere in the West Indies, but she had never asked. Given how long it had taken to build trust, she trod carefully.

There was no reason for Olivia to be outside the door. Given the hour, she and her husband, Titus, should be stirring the fires and fixing breakfast before their guests rose with the dawn. Faith’s feet hit the floor, and she gasped at the cold. Grabbing a coverlet for decency, she stumbled to the door, where her head hit the top of the doorframe. Pain struck like a hammer.

Opening the door a little, Faith stared at the other woman. “What’s wrong?”

“There’s a dead man in the private room.” Olivia’s breath came out in silvery puffs that peppered the air. Flour lightly dusted her hands and apron which indicated a sudden interruption from work.

“Are you sure?” Together they had dealt with a number of drunks in the year since the tavern had opened. Seven months since her husband Jon had died, leaving Faith in charge.

“I’m sure. Titus found him when he went to stir the fires before breakfast.”

Cold sweat broke out on Faith’s face as her stomach tied itself in knots. Titus was not one to panic. If he was correct, they had to act fast. Such an incident would only cause trouble.

Outside a rooster crowed warning that dawn paused for no one. Soon her guests would come downstairs for breakfast, and the streets would fill with merchants, slaves and others needing to do business in the capitol. Taking a breath, Faith forced an illusion of calm into her voice.

“Our guests will still expect breakfast. Take care of them. Make use of the boys if you need to. Tell Titus not to let anyone near the private room. I am on my way.” She turned back into her room, stopping by Andrew’s bed when she heard him move restlessly.

“What is it?” He began to stir out of his nest of blankets.

“Go back to sleep. It’s early yet.”

Hurriedly, she threw a skirt and bodice over her shift and stuffed her hair into a mob cap. Grabbing a heavy, woolen shawl, she slipped out down the steps to the backyard. The private room was separated from the main tavern by a narrow alley. It had its own front and back entrance, which made it perfect for meetings and extra work to provide meals and drinks. Side doors opened into the alley, which made delivering food and drink convenient although the walls of both buildings kept the narrow aperture cast in shadows.

Olivia watched her from the doorway of the kitchen, which stood apart from the tavern to lessen the risk of fire. Her son, Joshua, slept upstairs. Faith’s gaze circled the long backyard from where it ended at the path that separated it from the tenement next door to the small barn where animals were just beginning to stir. Something about the quiet made her feel jumpy, as if strange and unfriendly eyes watched. Mist rising from the dew added a ghostly air to the scene. Unnerved, she hurried to the door of the private room. She pulled her shawl closer to combat shivers induced by more than the cold.

The breath left Faith’s body as she took in the scene. However, running from trouble was a luxury no worker could afford. A weak fire from the hearth illuminated a man lying on the floor. The fine pewter of an upended tankard nearby glimmered faintly through the shadows. The room reeked of liquor. Perhaps he had simply passed out. In her few months as mistress of Clarke Tavern, she had handled men worse for drink.

Drunk was preferable to dead. Faith cleared her throat, which was suddenly too dry.

“Please be drunk,” she prayed as she came closer hoping for some indication of life. Reflected light gleamed off the brass buttons of his coat and made threads from his silk stockings gleam like ice. Fine lace covered his belly as the drift of his shirt hung out and onto the floor.

“My lord?” Faith inched forward, frowning. She now remembered who had demanded the use of her private room last night. Phineas Bullard acted like an odious bully sober. God only knew how he would behave drunk.

“Master Bullard!” she yelled, not bothering to be gentle.

The reek of wine made her queasy. She glanced about in disgust. It would take hours to make the room decent again. A bottle of port lay on its side, dripping off the table while a
nearly empty wine bottle lay on the floor. The tavern had very little of that in stock, too little to marinate the floor in it. Finally, fury at the man’s sloth overtook her.

Before reason returned, she grabbed his shoulder and shook it “Get up!”

As she aimed her toe to kick him, Faith stepped into something sticky.

Bending over to examine him more closely, her nostrils filled with the sickly scent of blood and other foul bodily substances. She gagged and backed away. The rising sun streaked in the door, allowing her to see what had not been clear before.

Blood soaked his breeches and collar down to the floorboards; his fine linen shirt savagely sliced into rags, revealing the damage beneath. Drying blood caked his throat and belly. Bullard’s wide open eyes and slack jaw implied the spectacle of his demise shocked him as well. Shaking him had rucked up his shirt exposing what she would have given anything not to see.

As the sun’s rays lit the room fully for the first time, horror overwhelmed her. Life had left him long ago.

“God have mercy.” Faith ran out the door, unable to view the nightmare any longer. Stomach revolting, she retched behind the branches of a bush. Her eyes watered as her stomach clenched into knots and set off another round.

“Miss Faith? Miss Faith!”

She shrieked and whirled around. Titus stood a few steps away. She drew in a relieved breath although she could not stop shaking.

Never had she been so glad to see a familiar face.

Wood chips were scattered in his clothes from where he had been chopping wood for the fires. The fresh scent of pine comforted her assaulted nose. His solid presence as well as the axe he carried, comforted her shattered nerves. Titus would be a formidable detriment to any physical threat.

“Are you ill?”

Faith swallowed nausea and pushed tendrils of hair back up into her cap. She gestured at the open doorway. The thought of what lay inside caused her gorge to rise again. Her nose and throat burned as she struggled to speak. “I will be alright. We need a physician, quickly.”

Titus shook his head. “He’s dead ma’am. No doctor can help him now. Let me get you back to the kitchen. The boys can get the sheriff. Best I stay here until I have had time to look around.” His voice roughened, “He has not been dead long, Miss Faith. Body is not all that cold. We had best not to take any chances. I will feed the chickens for the boys today, and they can go on to school. They should be safe enough in the street.”

Titus walked quietly beside her as they passed the smoke house. A breeze stirred the dead leaves from the nearby street. The big man said nothing as they walked past the barn where the horses shifted about in their stalls. Faith jumped but settled when the big man said, “They’re just waiting for breakfast.” His glance seemed to stop briefly at the small barn where the cow and a few horses resided then continued on their circuit.

Her head whirled as she considered the consequences of what she had seen. Bullard could be an insufferable bully, but she did not want him dead in her tavern. Once the sheriff came, news would spread. The authorities would want answers, and she had none. Given the current strife in the colonies, it was all too easy to find oneself unintentionally wearing a noose.

Taking a deep breath, she tried to put that idea out of her head.

The sun ascended the horizon, lighting the sky, as her feet crossed the threshold of the kitchen. Titus left her there and returned outside. Busy with breakfast preparations, Faith was grateful that Olivia did not mention that her mistress looked terrible and smelled worse. She poured herself a small amount of short beer and rinsed out her mouth. Stepping outside, she spat into the grass away from the walkway before returning to speak.

“Someone killed Phineas Bullard last night. The boys need to get the sheriff. Faith paused to gather her spinning thoughts grateful that Olivia was too busy to turn about and see her.

Her breath came too fast and shallow making her dizzy. She needed to gain control of her wits. Sitting at a nearby bench, she leaned over putting her head in her hands.

This was no time to panic. Too much was at stake. She forced herself to inhale and exhale. Gradually, her head cleared. There was no time to panic. Regardless of how she felt, life continued and with it, the work that survival entailed.

From her seat Faith could see inside the open door of the outdoor kitchen, She watched Olivia stirring the huge stewpot hanging over the fire in the kitchen. Nearby lay a stack of knives with rusty stains waiting for scrubbing. Some looked as if they had been used to separate a carcass. The idea made her gorge rise. Faith frowned. If she did not know better, she would swear Olivia was keeping her back to her. It made little sense but then nothing this morning did. Shrugging, she walked out the door back to the tavern.

Outside the door, Titus lingered carrying a plate covered with a napkin. At her glance, he looked nervous.

Faith smiled. “No worries, Titus. I’m sure you worked up quite an appetite this morning.”

“What? Oh sure, mistress. Quite an appetite.”

He was sweating despite the chill of the predawn air. Faith wondered how much would he had chopped. She felt guilty for sitting when he and his wife had been working. Faith touched his sleeve. “It is of no concern to me Titus.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Faith shook her head as she moved past him. Why would he think her worried about a little food? Surely, he knew her better than that. Normally Titus ate in the kitchen with Olivia. Pushing the distracting thought from her mind, she moved onward, determined to ignore the soft whispers behind her.

She managed to catch the door behind her before it slammed. She hurried down the tavern’s hall to the one private space she possessed. Creaking upstairs warned Faith to hurry. Other sounds told her that there would be chamber pots to empty and clean. Pouring water from the pitcher she had filled last night, she washed her face and combed her hair. This time, she took time to coil her hair and pin it in a respectable manner. Her hands shook as she tidied herself. The steel mirror showed a face pale and frightened.

“God help me,” she whispered before turning to where her son slept. “Andrew, it’s time to rise. I need you and Joshua to go get the sheriff.”

***

Excerpt from Cry of the Innocent by Julie Bates. Copyright 2022 by Julie Bates. Reproduced with permission from Julie Bates. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Julie BatesJulie Bates grew up reading little bit of everything, but when she discovered Agatha Christie, she knew she what she wanted to write. Along the way, she has written a weekly column for the Asheboro Courier Tribune (her local newspaper) for two years and published a few articles in magazines such as Spin Off and Carolina Country. She has blogged for Killer Nashville and the educational website Read.Learn.Write. She currently works as a public school teacher for special needs students. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Southeastern Writers of America (SEMWA) and her local writing group, Piedmont Authors Network (PAN). When not busy plotting her next story, she enjoy doing crafts and spending time with her husband and son, as well as a number of dogs and cats who have shown up on her doorstep and never left.

Catch Up With Julie Bates:

JulieBates.weebly.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @julibates1
Instagram – @juliebates72
Twitter – @JulieLBates03
Facebook – @JulieBates.author

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

04/11 Guest post @ Novels Alive
04/12 Interview @ Cozy Up With Kathy
04/12 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty
04/13 Interview @ I Read What You Write
04/14 Review @ Novels Alive
04/15 Review @ Cozy Up With Kathy
04/16 Showcase @ Ravenz Reviewz
04/18 Review @ Buried Under Books
04/19 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
04/20 Showcase @ Nesies Place
04/21 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
04/22 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books
04/25 Guest post @ Author Elena Taylors Blog
04/26 Review @ flightnurse70_book_reviews
04/27 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books
05/01 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
05/02 Showcase @ Books Blog
05/03 Review @ Pat Fayo Reviews
05/04 Showcase @ 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS
05/04 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
05/05 Showcase @ pickagoodbook
05/05 Showcase @ Silvers Reviews
05/06 Review @ History from a Woman’s Perspective
06/13 Interview podcast @ Blogtalk Radio
06/13 Review @ Just Reviews

Enter to Win:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Julie Bates. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

giveaway

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

Razing Stakes by TG Wolff Banner

Razing Stakes

by TG Wolff

April 1-30, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Razing Stakes by TG Wolff

The first day of summer is the last day of a young accountant’s life. Colin McHenry is out for his regular run when an SUV crosses into his path, crushing him. Within hours of the hit-skip, Cleveland Homicide Detective Jesus De La Cruz finds the vehicle in the owner’s garage, who’s on vacation three time zones away. The setup is obvious, but not the hand behind it. The suspects read like a list out of a textbook: the jilted fiancée, the jealous coworker, the overlooked subordinate, the dirty client.

His plate already full, Cruz is assigned to a “special project,” a case needing to be solved quickly and quietly. Cleveland Water technicians are the targets of focused attacks. The crimes range from intimidation to assault. The locations swing between the east, west, and south sides of the city. This is definitely madness, but there is a method behind it.

The two cases are different and yet the same. Motives, opportunities, and alibis don’t point in a single direction. In these mysteries, Cruz has to think laterally, yanking down the curtain to expose the master minding the strings.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Down & Out Books
Publication Date: February 14, 2022
Number of Pages: 294
ISBN: 978-1-64396-245-0
Series: The De La Cruz Case Files, 3rd in series
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Down & Out Books

Read an excerpt:

Ten minutes dead. The sun shined brightly, no clouds on this first day of summer, the last day of John Doe’s life. Cleveland police Detective Jesus De La Cruz squatted next to the broken body. The warmth beneath his hand testified to the newness of death.

Two EMTs had worked to sustain the man’s life. One was at the ambulance now, tending to the tools of his trade. The other stood over the body, shaking his head at the victim. “He was dead before we arrived, Detective. He just didn’t know it.” The EMT peeled off his gloves, finality in a simple act. “Damn it if we didn’t fight for him. In the end, he was just too crushed.”

Cruz rose looking east and west, north and south. The crime scene was on the side of a road halfway between East 9th Street and East 55th Street. North Marginal was a two-way street carved between Lake Erie and a spur off I-90 called the Shoreway. Properties cut off by the Shoreway—the Coast Guard station, Burke Lakefront Airport, a private marina, a condominium complex—were accessed from North Marginal. Even at the busiest times of day, vehicular traffic here was scant. Middle of a workday, a steady stream of runners arced around the first responders.

“Popular place,” Cruz said, meeting the eyes of a curious runner rubbernecking as he slowed to a jog.

“It is,” the EMT said. “Few better places downtown for running. A solid two and a half miles with no cross streets. Whoever hit him came from the east. Blew him up.”

The body spoke for itself. No way it could be where it was being hit from the west. Cruz straddled the curb, which was a generous term for the inch separating the driving surface from the running path. A bicycle wouldn’t call it an obstacle. John Doe either never saw it coming or was unable to get out of the way. The impact had launched him into the airport’s tall security fence. The fence bounced him back, the one-hundred-eighty-pound body a pinball rebounding off bumpers.

John Doe had been moved, necessary and appropriate as he’d been alive when he was found.

“Medical Examiner is en route,” the EMT said. “He’s yours now.”

“I’ll take care of him.” Cruz studied the victim. The man was mostly skin. He had taken off his shirt on the warm day, one of the first to be hot. A shirt lay on the edge of the path, marked by an evidence tag. Two other shirts lay close to the body; one black, one yellow and stained with blood.

The running shorts covered hip to mid-thigh. He wore socks, shoes, and a fitness device on his wrist. Skin was scraped off his arms, legs, chest, and face, the asphalt unforgiving. An AirPod was in his left ear, the right one missing.

Squatting again, Cruz felt the side seams of the shorts, finding zippered pockets. Inside the right one was a slim, card-size piece of plastic, a security badge for a building on East 9th Street. The dead man smiled out of a poor-quality image. Beneath was the name Colin McHenry.

“Detective, we found his phone,” one of the officers securing the scene called out. “It’s in good shape. Thumb print pass coded.”

“Open it before the ME takes him. Who found him?”

“A pair of runners. I parked them under the big tree.” The officer pointed across North Marginal to a small grove on a manmade hill. The two men waited anxiously under the tree, watching the activity. Both were runners. Both were shirtless. Both came to attention as Cruz approached and introduced himself.

“I’m Landon Chartres, this is Denny Bradford. We saw him as soon as we came around the bend. He was half in the street.” The otherwise straight line of North Marginal had a large curve bumping out to make space for an exit from the Shoreway. McHenry’s body would have been screened by the fence and shrubs separating the public from the airport’s private property.

“We knew someone was ahead of us,” Bradford said. “When you turn onto the Marginal, you can you see all the way to the curve.”

Chartres nodded like a bobblehead. “We saw the vehicle that must have hit him. It was the only one that passed us before we got to him. Black SUV. Part of the license plate was LDC. Those are my initials, so it caught my attention. I didn’t catch the make or model.”

Bradford looked behind him, to East 9th Street. He repeatedly shifted his weight from foot to foot. “He was only out of our sight to a few minutes. Would you say he had a five-minute lead, Landon?”

“At most. Probably more like three or four. We called 9-1-1 and pulled him out of the road. Anyone coming around the curve would have hit him. We used our shirts to try to stop the bleeding.”

As a pair of witnesses went, these two were easy, answering questions before he could ask them. They wanted to talk, maybe even needed to talk. “Did anyone pass you from behind, coming from East 9th going east?”

The pair looked at each other, huddled like they were on a pitcher’s mound deciding on a call. It was Chartres who answered. “We don’t think so, Detective, but we couldn’t swear to it. We weren’t paying that much attention. But the one that came toward us, the one with my initials, it was flying.”

“Is he going to make it?” Bradford asked, hope in his voice. “The ambulance got here fast. We kept pressure on his wounds, like they tell you to.”

“I’m sorry, he didn’t.” As if on cue, an engine started. The ambulance pulled away without a passenger.

***

Excerpt from Razing Stakes by TG Wolff. Copyright 2022 by TG Wolff. Reproduced with permission from TG Wolff. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

TG Wolff

TG Wolff writes thrillers and mysteries that play within the gray area between good and bad, right and wrong. Cause and effect drive the stories, drawing from 20+ years’ experience in Civil Engineering, where “cause” is more often a symptom of a bigger, more challenging problem. Diverse characters mirror the complexities of real life and real people, balanced with a healthy dose of entertainment. TG Wolff holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With TG Wolff:
TGWolffCom.wordpress.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @TG_Wolff
Instagram – @tg_wolff
Twitter – @tg_wolff
Facebook

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways! 

04/01 Interview @ I Read What You Write
04/02 Showcase @ Our Town Book Reviews
04/05 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books
04/08 Guest post @ Novels Alive
04/11 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
04/14 Guest post @ Author Elena Taylors Blog
04/15 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
04/15 Showcase @ Books Blog
04/18 Review @ Novels Alive
04/20 Review @ flightnurse70_book_reviews
04/21 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
04/25 Review @ Nesies Place
04/27 Showcase @ 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS
04/27 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
04/28 Review @ One More Book To Read
04/29 Review @ Pat Fayo Reviews
04/30 Review @ Melissa As Blog
04/30 Showcase @ Silvers Reviews

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY FOR A CHANCE TO WIN:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for TG Wolff. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

GIVEAWAY

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

 

Paradise Cove by Davin Goodwin Banner

Paradise Cove

by Davin Goodwin

April 1-30, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Synopsis:

Paradise Cove by Dave Goodwin

Every day is paradise on Bonaire—until something unexpected washes ashore

On the laid-back island of Bonaire, every day is paradise until a seaweed-entangled human leg washes ashore. Combing the beach, retired cop Roscoe Conklin examines the scene and quickly determines that the leg belongs to the nephew of a close friend.

The island police launch an investigation, but with little evidence and no suspects, their progress comes to a frustrating halt. Then, thanks to a unique barter with the lead detective, Conklin finds himself in possession of the case file. He can now aggressively probe for his own answers.

Sifting through the scant clues, eager to bring the killer to justice, Conklin struggles to maintain forward momentum. He has all the pieces. He can feel it. But he’d better get them snapped together soon.

Otherwise, the body count will continue to rise.

 

Praise for Paradise Cove:

“An intriguingly gruesome beginning, sexy location, and a supremely satisfying ending. Paradise Cove is a terrific read.” —Marc Cameron, New York Times best-selling author

Paradise Cove is a wonderful thriller with a great story . . . what makes it special are the perfect descriptions of Bonaire and life on the island.” —Nicholas Harvey, author of the AJ Bailey Adventure Series

“Grab a beer and revisit Bonaire with Roscoe Conklin as your guide in Paradise Cove. A rich cast of characters and an intriguing plot guarantee an exciting trip you’ll long remember.” –Shawn Wilson, author of Relentless

 

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: April 5th 2022
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1608094855 (ISBN13: 9781608094851)
Series: Roscoe Conklin Mystery #2 | The novels in the Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Finished with my morning swim, having pushed myself hard the last quarter mile, I sat on the end of the pier with my legs dangling over the edge. No clouds in the typical Caribbean-blue Bonaire sky and a faint hint of salt floated in the air. The wind shoved waves, larger than normal, against the shore.

An iguana lay a few feet away, basking in the sun, overweight from gorging itself on the remnants of the near-by garbage can. It sat motionless, one eye tilted in my direction, the other skewed over the edge of the pier at the water. It was a resident of the area and joined me regularly on the pier after my swims.

I had taken to calling it Charlie.

As I towel-dried my arms and hair, I noticed two teenaged boys using a stick to poke at an object near the water’s edge, a stone’s throw south of the pier. The object had washed ashore and was covered with random strands of dark seaweed.

I watched the boys take a few steps forward, jab the stick at the object, then retreat, as if expecting something to happen. Nothing did, so they repeated the process several times with the same result.

Some younger children ventured forth, staying well behind the brave teenagers. Wide-eyed, high-pitched streams of Papiamento—the native language of Bonaire—filled the air as they half-talked, half-screamed. They gawked at the object, the raced back up the beach to their mothers, sitting on beach blankets.

One mother stood, nodding her head, and, appeasing the child, walked toward the water. She stopped a few feet shy of the shore. Her eyes widened and she shuffled backward to the other women, grabbed her cell phone, and, with a shaky hand, put it to her ear. She pointed at the object and spoke, her Papiamento not as high-pitched as the child’s, but every bit as excited. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand a word they said, my Papiamento being only slightly better than my Klingon.

The base of my neck tingled.

I no longer carried a badge, but nearly three decades as a law enforcement officer, specifically with the Violent Crimes Division of the Rockford, Illinois, police department, had trained my curiosity to remain on high alert. Of the hundreds of traits, quirks, and ticks conditioned into my psyche during those years, the sense of inquisitiveness, along with a constant need to know and understand, were the most deeply engrained.

I shook my head, stood, and walked down the pier to the beach. This was something I probably needed to see.

My sudden movement startled Charlie and he darted to the other side of the pier, both eyes now pointed in my direction. I gave him a shallow wave. “Sorry, Charlie.”

The water surface on the west side—or leeward side—of the island remained consistently flat, almost glasslike, aided by a solid wind from the east. The wind also swept most of the seaweed, litter, and other debris out to sea. Few items floated ashore on the leeward coast of Bonaire.

Except during wind reversals. Over the last few days, the easterly wind had changed direction and blew in from the west, bringing with it all kinds of surface floaties.

I plodded through the sand, closing the distance to the water’s edge. Most likely, an unfortunate tuna or tarpon had met its demise. But based on the actions and behaviors of the children, and the concern of the mother, I quickly changed my mind. A fish washing ashore was too common an occurrence and wouldn’t generate the reactions I’d just witnessed.

Then I remembered the epidemic affecting the green moray eels. For some reason, a strange parasite was attacking the green morays, causing the deaths of many. The occurrence was so rare that a group of marine biologists had recently arrived on the island, and with the help of local researchers, were studying the phenomenon. The situation was declared serious, possibly affecting the entire green moray population of the local reefs. When a dead eel washed ashore, the researchers wanted to be informed so they could harvest the carcass for study.

The teenagers moved back a few steps as I worked past them and stood over the object. It wasn’t a tarpon or tuna. Or a diseased moral eel. I turned back toward the beach and scanned the area, noticing the increased crowd size. I admit, the word crowd is relative on a small island like Bonaire, but, even so, a small horde of lookie-loos had gathered. Some vied for a better view, meandering closer to the water’s edge.

But not too close.

I sighed and shook my head. Few things draw a crowd to the beach faster than a human body part washing ashore.

***

Excerpt from Paradise Cove by Davin Goodwin. Copyright 2022 by Davin Goodwin. Reproduced with permission from Davin Goodwin. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Davin Goodwin

Davin Goodwin is a graduate of Arkansas State University and works in the technology industry. He’s been a small business owner, a real estate investor, an aerial photographer and flight instructor, a semi-professional banjo player, and a scuba diver, often seen on the island of Bonaire. Paradise Cove is the second novel in his Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series and he intends to continue writing the Roscoe Conklin series set on Bonaire. Goodwin lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife, Leslie.

Catch Up With Davin Goodwin:
DavinGoodwinAuthor.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @dgoodwin7757
Instagram – @davin_goodwin_author
Facebook – @authordavingoodwin

 

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways! 

04/02 Review @ flightnurse70_book_reviews
04/03 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
04/04 Interview @ Blog Talk Radio
04/04 Review @ Just Reviews
04/05 Review @ Urban Book Reviews
04/06 Guest post @ Author Elena Taylors Blog
04/07 Review @ Buried Under Books
04/08 Interview @ I Read What You Write
04/11 Review @ The Suspense is Thrilling Me
04/12 Showcase @ Books Blog
04/14 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books
04/15 Guest post @ Urban Book Reviews
04/16 Review @ Savings in Seconds
04/17 Review @ Pat Fayo Reviews
04/18 Guest post @ Novels Alive
04/19 Review @ sunny island breezes
04/20 Showcase @ 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS
04/20 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
04/21 Review @ Novels Alive
04/22 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
04/25 Review @ Elainesapp
04/26 Review @ From the TBR Pile
04/27 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
04/27 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
04/28 Review @ Our Town Book Reviews
04/29 Review @ Pages and Pups

 

Join In:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Davin Goodwin. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.
GIVEAWAY

 

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours